I had first heard of Redemption when being told by someone a while ago how good “this burger place” at the Old Biscuit Mill was. She was someone in the trade who knew what constituted a good burger so, ever since that conversation, I had been eager to try them out for myself.
Two of the other bru’s and I were due to attend our 20 year school reunion in Long Street, and so arrived by late afternoon looking desperately for a place to watch the Currie Cup Final between WP and The Sharks. It soon had become apparent to us that Long Street establishments couldn’t care less about the game. We must have walked into 3 or 4 places which normally buzz with atmosphere but, alas, nothing! When we finally spotted a place with a good crowd watching a game and cheering, we quickly made our way there and were excited to see a team playing in a black and white kit. Brilliant, they were showing the rugby – game on! Actually, that wasn’t the case as we soon realised that The Sharks we “had seen” were, in fact, Orlando Pirates! EVENTUALLY, thereafter, we settled in at an Irish pub to watch the game. Being massive WP supporters, we really wished we hadn’t bothered…
Once the game was over, we soon made our way across to Redemption. The first thing that strikes you is the awesome signage, which has never failed to grab my attention during previous visits to Long Street. The signage almost seems to jump out at you, which is a definite win for them in terms of being visible. There was an extra buzz in the place as staff were gearing up for a Halloween party that night. The interior was being decorated with Halloween paraphernalia, and some staff and guests alike were dressed the part. We were seated in their outside section, which is an alleyway with benched seating. This section was busy with diners and provided an awesome vibe which set the tone for what we were about to experience. A great aspect of this section is that it looks onto Long Street through a fence, advertising its great vibe to the passing trade. For the diners, it’s pretty cool to also be able to watch all the colourful characters of Long Street walking by, particularly given that many of them were dressed up on this particular evening.
Our lovely waitress, Fortunate, took our initial drinks order as she provided us with our menu’s. We all went for their in-house Redemption Lager. The menu’s at Redemption are truly next-level. They arrive as an old-school vinyl where the menu is printed on the actual disc, which is in a vintage cover.
This is a great idea as it immediately provides diners with a talking point about the restaurant. As always, our thoughts then turn to starters. There are a couple of Mexican dishes you can have for starters, but that’s pretty much all. We ordered a portion of Beer Queso Nachos, which was their version of nachos (spicy tortilla chips served with beer cheese sauce dip, salsa cruda, and jalapeno & coriander guacamole). The three dips came served in individual tin cups, alongside the chips.
This dish fell flat for us as, even though the dips were decent enough, we each felt that the chips were not the greatest. The texture was more that of a biscuit than a chip. Having decided to stick with drinking Redemption Lagers for the evening, we then placed our order for our burgers. The one bru went for The Straight Ace (beef patty on a bed of crisp lettuce, topped with organic cheddar, homemade tomato relish, gherkins, crispy beer battered onion rings, and sweet mustard mayo), whilst the other bru opted for The Trumple Thumpit (beef patty topped with cheddar, mozzarella, crispy bacon, grilled creamy halloumi on a bed of gherkins, lettuce and homemade tomato relish, finished with caramelised onions and sweet mustard mayo).
I went for the El Borracho Mexicano, which was a beef patty on a bed of crisp lettuce, dressed with homemade jalapeno mayo, topped with organic cheddar, homemade chilli salsa and guacamole.
They arrived soon enough with the portion sizes being VERY reasonable. The patties are 200g, which is a generous portion, and they all came well cooked and succulent. The topping combinations on all our burgers were great and their flavour profiles really complimented each other. There really wasn’t anything at all to fault, as they were every bit as good as what I had previously been told. My burger had a definite zing to it, causing a bit of beading on my face (although perhaps the high 30 degree temperature also had something to do with it). Throughout our meal, we found the service to be extremely attentive, with management also checking up on us a number of times. All-in-all, we had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed our burgers. The value-for-money aspect is something I have to make mention of. I found their burger prices to be extremely reasonable when considering the number of components and their portion size. As us bru’s well and truly know, restaurants in Cape Town putting out great food are (fortunately) a dime a dozen. As great as this is, it makes these restaurants quite difficult to “stand out from the crowd”. It is those that do things (even just) slightly differently, adding to the overall customer experience, which will linger longer in the memory and will have more returning customers. We feel that Redemption is, most definitely, one of those places. As Burger Brews we strongly urge you, particularly our WP rugby team, to go out and seek Redemption – you won’t be sorry!
Beginnings – Not a great selection nor execution thereof, definitely the lowlight of the experience for us. 2
Burgers – Yes please! A great burger indeed. 5
Beers – Not the hugest selection, but enough offered to suit most tastes. Their in-house lager was very decent. 3.5
Bringers – Fortunate was friendly and attentive throughout the evening. We felt well looked after as management were also at-hand checking in on us and other diners throughout. 5
Background – Awesome buzz throughout. There is something about being seated in an alleyway setting that adds an x-factor to the experience. 5